Climate Newsprint

A girl's view of the 17 sustainable development goals - in pictures

The Guardian Climate Change - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 06:00

‘If you don’t know where to start with the SDGs, start with women and girls everything else will fall into place,’ said UN Women head Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka recently. These photographs of women and girls all over the world illustrate each of the 17 SDGs. The exhibition was part of last year’s European Week of Action for Girls

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

The great tide: is Britain really equipped to cope with global warming? | Simon Parkin

The Guardian Climate Change - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 05:00

As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise at an alarming rate, the country faces the threat of catastrophic flooding

On the day that London drowned, 16-year-old Shirley Orchard was serving customers bars of chocolate and packets of cigarettes at her father’s shop on Canvey Island. The town, which sits on the underbelly of Essex, where the North Sea becomes the River Thames, had been teased by bursts of showers and sunshine throughout the day. By dusk the clouds had squeezed themselves dry. Orchard served her last customer of the day: a woman who, after seven years of trying for a baby, had recently given birth. After Orchard had closed up the shop, she began to walk home, her stride stretched by a chasing breeze.

The wind had been whipped to life two days earlier by a depression off the south-west coast of Iceland. From there, it began its journey towards Scotland. Soon after first light, on 31 January 1953, the captain of the ferry Princess Victoria ignored a storm warning and set sail from the Scottish port of Stranraer. As the ship – heavy with cargo, crew and passengers – cleared the mouth of the sheltered Loch Ryan, huge waves butted and then breached its stern doors. At 2pm, the order came to abandon ship. One-hundred-and-thirty-two people died, including the deputy prime minister of Northern Ireland and every woman and child aboard.

Related: This sinking isle: the homeowners battling coastal erosion | Patrick Barkham

The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and 500,000 Greater London homes could all be flooded

Related: Is it time to join the 'preppers'? How to survive the climate-change apocalypse

As seas surge, coasts retreat, and rain falls and falls, we have grown numb: 2C or 4C – who cares? It’s all catastrophic

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Antony Gormley: Humans are building 'a vast termites' nest' of greed

The Guardian Climate Change - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 13:52

Sculptor explains how new show, featuring 600 cast-iron human skyscrapers, expresses his anger about London’s testosterone-fuelled corporate expansion

Antony Gormley says his first White Cube exhibition in four years, which opens in September, is driven by “more of a sense of urgency” than any other show he has done. From the warming of our climate and the acidification of our seas to cities dominated by skyscrapers – “nothing more than expressions of virile corporate power,” says Gormley – the artist’s despair at society’s failure to take action has filtered unavoidably into his latest work.

Related: How we made The Angel of the North

I don’t see London’s towers expressing much more than the testosterone of a late capitalist society

Related: Are Shoreditch skyscrapers a London tower too far, even for Boris Johnson?

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

This election year, we can't lose sight of the perils of climate change | Ralph Nader

The Guardian Climate Change - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 11:15

Candidates running for Congress and the presidency aren’t offering real solutions, despite growing scientific alarm. That is not acceptable

Every election year, candidates for office engage in a perverse form of theater. Some flatter voters or try to scare them, others offer promises of a better future. Unfortunately, few candidates feel an obligation to follow through on campaign pledges or grapple with serious problems confronting our country and planet.

Related: Voices of America: why we wanted to hear from you – and still do

Related: Climate change: the missing issue of the 2016 campaign

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier

The Guardian Climate Change - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 11:00

Climate change has barely registered as a 2016 campaign issue, but in Florida, the state which usually decides the presidential election, the waters are lapping at the doors of Donald Trump’s real estate empire

On a hot and lazy afternoon in Palm Beach, the only sign of movement is the water gently lapping at the grounds of Mar-a-Lago, the private club that is the prize of Donald Trump’s real estate acquisitions in Florida.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Climate change: how Victoria trumped New South Wales in the great renewable energy race

The Guardian Climate Change - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 00:16

Wind and solar energy projects are set to be the big winners of the state’s ambitious renewable energy targets

Two years ago Rob Stokes, the then environment minister for New South Wales, promised that his state could become Australia’s answer to California in the clean energy industry.

“We are making NSW No 1 in energy and environmental policy,” Stokes, a Liberal, told the Clean Energy Week gathering in Sydney in July 2014.“When it comes to clean energy, we can be Australia’s answer to California.”

Related: Climate change: communities and councils fill void on zero emissions targets

Related: Four visionary renewable energy projects that could pay off for Australia

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Leadsom vows to continue with UK's climate commitments

The Guardian Climate Change - Tue, 07/05/2016 - 15:25

Tory leadership candidate and EU Leave campaigner says she remains committed to current pledges to cut emissions and decarbonise energy supply

Andrea Leadsom, the Tory leadership candidate and campaigner to leave the EU, vowed on Tuesday to continue with the UK’s commitments to tackle climate change and decarbonise the energy supply.

She said that reducing greenhouse gases was a duty to future generations, and pledged to continue with the UK’s carbon budgets to set a limit on emissions.

Related: UK sets ambitious new 2030s carbon target

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

The missing issue of the 2016 campaign? Climate change | The daily briefing

The Guardian Climate Change - Tue, 07/05/2016 - 12:59

Voices of America highlights key issues ignored in primary season; Juno reaches orbit of Jupiter after five-year trip; gun control bill may get a vote

Across the country, the Guardian has been asking American voters about what really matters to them in this presidential year – in questions online, in person as they went to the polls, and in discussion groups on campuses, in restaurants and in their homes. Resoundingly, the largest group of participants pointed to climate change. More than 1,500 American voters gave us insight into the issues they care about most as part of the Guardian’s new Voices of America series – starting today – which aims to highlight the way key issues have been ignored or under-played during a primary season when trivial personal attacks seemed to take precedence over substantial debate of issues that matter.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Climate change: the missing issue of the 2016 campaign

The Guardian Climate Change - Tue, 07/05/2016 - 11:30

Guardian US survey reveals anger of voters as election year debate fails to deal with concerns over the gathering global disaster

The race for the White House is failing to grapple with the key issues of the day, especially the urgent need to combat climate change before atmospheric changes become irreversible, a slice of the American electorate believes.

Related: Florida mayors join forces to call for climate questions at primary debates

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

New research: climate may be more sensitive and situation more dire | Dana Nuccitelli

The Guardian Climate Change - Tue, 07/05/2016 - 10:00

When comparing apples to apples, a new study finds energy budget climate sensitivity estimates consistent with climate models

Scientists use a variety of approaches to estimate the Earth’s climate sensitivity – how much the planet will warm as a result of humans increasing greenhouse effect. For decades, the different methods were all in good general agreement that if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Earth’s surface temperatures will immediately warm by about 1–3°C (this is known as the ‘transient climate response’). Because it would take decades to centuries for the Earth to reach a new energy balance, climate scientists have estimated an eventual 2–4.5°C warming from doubled atmospheric carbon (this is ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’).

However, a 2013 paper led by Alexander Otto disrupted the agreement between the various different approaches. Using a combination of recent climate measurements and a relatively simple climate model, the ‘energy budget’ approach used in Otto’s study yielded a best estimate for the immediate (transient) warming of 1.3°C and equilibrium warming of 2.0°C; within the agreed range, but less than climate model best estimates of 1.8°C and 3.2°C, respectively.

A recent study, Marvel et al 2015 and prior works suggest that cooling effect of non-CO2 pollution may have been underestimated. This also suggests that climate sensitivity is underestimated (since the net direct impact of human activity would be reduced, requiring a greater sensitivity to achieve the observed temperature change).

The results of Marvel et al are independent of [our] work. If both studies are correct, climate sensitivity from the historical record could be higher than climate sensitivity from the models. However we are not in a position to comment on that paper, and so draw the weaker conclusion that the historical record offers no reason to doubt the estimates of climate sensitivity from climate models.

The work that’s out there now, if anything, favours hotter models in general. Now it’s clear there’s no evidence from this energy-budget approach for a cooler-than-models future. But there are lots of things where the numbers haven’t been fully calculated yet. We don’t know precisely how Marvel’s results apply to the real world yet and other factors could matter, such as recent hints from CERN laboratory results on how clouds form. This helps explain why we have such a large range of possible transient climate response values (1.0–3.3°C is a pretty big range!), but even so, our results say that we’re more than 99.9% confident that most recent global warming is human-caused.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Pauline Hanson's One Nation will bring climate science denial to the Senate

The Guardian Climate Change - Tue, 07/05/2016 - 04:10

Fringe political groups such as One Nation, Family First and the Liberal Democrats still reject the evidence that humans are causing climate change

So we’re in that post-election twilight zone where analysts, psephologists and columnists try and pull something cogent out of all the mess of uncertainty.

Who’ll be the next prime minister? Which party will lead and how will they do it? What does it all mean, and did Donald Trump have anything to do with it? What do psephologists do when there’s no election on?

Related: Derryn Hinch threatens legal action if he is relegated to three-year Senate term

Of those from the right wing still in the mix, as things stand the second Hanson candidate is still in with an outside chance along with at least a couple of others. Regardless of the outcome, the Greens will use our numbers to do all we can to tackle global warming through a clean energy jobs boom and by ending approvals of new coal and gas.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Flooding: the problem that will not go away

The Guardian Climate Change - Mon, 07/04/2016 - 20:30

A report by MPs says the government is failing those in flood-prone areas in a number of ways

During last December and January, floods in the northern half of the UK cost insurance companies £1.3bn. Bridges and roads were destroyed, hundreds of homes and businesses were inundated, and many of these are still recovering. The government reacted by reversing earlier decisions to cut spending on flood defences and then hoped the problem would go away; but this is wishful thinking.

The House of Commons environment audit committee that looked into the problem says the government is failing those in flood-prone areas in a number of ways. Apart from lack of any strategic thinking, ministers are failing to provide funds to maintain even existing flood barriers, leaving communities that think they are protected with an unacceptable risk.

Related: The particle physics of clouds

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Climate change: big four banks' lending to Australian renewables projects falls

The Guardian Climate Change - Mon, 07/04/2016 - 01:54

Market Forces finds only two financing deals closed in first half of 2016 despite banks’ purported support for sector

Australia’s big four banks’ lending for Australian renewable energy projects has tumbled in the first half of 2016, despite all of them spruiking their continuing support for the sector.

Based on public announcements from the banks and their customers, the activist group Market Forces has found only two financing deals were closed this year in the Australian renewables sector.

Related: Australia's biggest banks pump billions into fossil fuels despite climate pledges

Related: Global coal and gas investment falls to less than half that in clean energy

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

What would a global warming increase of 1.5C be like?

Guardian - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 16:08

The Paris climate conference set the ambitious goal of finding ways to limit global warming to 1.5C, rather than the previous threshold of 2C. But what would be the difference? And how realistic is such a target? Environment 360 reports

How ambitious is the world? The Paris climate conference last December astounded many by pledging not just to keep warming “well below two degrees celsius,” but also to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to 1.5C. That raised a hugely important question: What’s the difference between a two-degree world and a 1.5-degree world?

Given we are already at one degree above pre-industrial levels, halting at 1.5C would look to be at least twice as hard as the two-degree option.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Yellowstone proposes controversial slaughter of 1,000 bison

Guardian Environment - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 05:45

National park authorities want to kill one in five animals to bring population down to target size

Yellowstone National Park is proposing to reduce its celebrated bison herd by 1,000 animals this winter by rounding up those wandering into adjacent Montana and delivering them to Native American tribes for slaughter, officials said on Wednesday.

The longstanding but controversial annual culling is designed to lessen the risk of straying Yellowstone bison infecting cattle herds in Montana with brucellosis, a bacterial disease carried by many bison, also known as buffalo.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Late bloomers in the lee

Guardian Environment - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 05:29
Hawthorn Dene, Durham Clocks askew as a wild rose with ripe hips still bears petals and the elder’s blossom appears as birds strip its berries

There is something unsettling, finding a wild rose in bloom in November on a bare stemmed bush bearing ripe rose hips. We found this echo of summer in the lee of a hedge near the old limestone quarry, among the burnt umber and bistre shades of withered docks and grasses, and the crimson and blue-black fruits of hawthorn and sloe.

Generations of amateur botanists have taken part in annual winter wild flower hunts run by the Wild Flower Society, finding tenacious late bloomers like hogweed and yarrow in the darkest months. Such floral sightings used to excite just a little curiosity but lately awareness of the potential effects of climate change has brought speculation about the long-term biological implications of out-of-season flowering.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Kiribati president pushes Australia to back moratorium on new coalmines

Guardian Environment - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 05:16

Anote Tong says freeze on new coalmines before global climate summit in December ‘easiest, most reasonable’ way to help reduce emissions

The president of the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has urged the Australian government to support a moratorium on new coalmines before the global climate summit in Paris in December.

Tong, who was in Melbourne for a public meeting hosted by the Australia Institute on Thursday, said it was the “easiest, most reasonable” measure world leaders could commit to to reduce emissions.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Australia's lead public servant for global climate talks reveals hopes and fears for Paris

Guardian Environment - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 03:48

Ambassador for the environment Peter Woolcott says terrorist attacks in Paris ‘will only strengthen’ France’s desire for a strong climate deal

You don’t get to hear from Peter Woolcott all that much in public, even though he is a pivotal character in Australia’s international climate change negotiations.

Woolcott is Australia’s ambassador for the environment and for the past 14 months has led the country’s negotiating teams at UN climate talks.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

COP21 climate marches in Paris not authorised following attacks

Guardian Environment - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 00:10

French government says demonstrations in closed spaces can go ahead but not those in public places

Major marches which had been planned to coincide with the COP21 international climate talks in Paris will not be authorised for security reasons, the French government has said.

Environmental activists – who had expected attract hundreds of thousands people on 29 November and 12 December – said that they accepted Wednesday’s decision with regret, but were now considering “new and imaginative” ways of making their voices heard.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Victoria to review whether or not state will continue to fund coal projects

Guardian Environment - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 00:08

As a plan to make brown coal briquettes for export to China fails to attract private cash, the state will assess whether past projects gave value for money

The Victorian government has announced an independent review of coal development projects after a demonstration plant in the Latrobe Valley which was set to receive federal and state funding failed to attract private investment.

The project to make brown coal briquettes for export to China was withdrawn less than 12 months after Shanghai Electric Australia Power and Energy Development Pty Ltd was awarded state and federal government funding.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint
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